Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Divine Gifts
Al Nahl (The Bee) - Chapter 16: Verse 81
"And it is God who has granted you shade out of what He has created, and has granted you in the mountains places of shelter [and protection]; and He has granted you garments to protect yourselves from heat [and cold], and others to protect yourselves from your own violence. Thus does He grant in full measure His blessings towards you, so that you might submit yourself to Him [and His guidance]."
Hills, mountains, caves and trees provide people with their natural shade and shelter, while the human mind, gifted by God, can design and build walls and roofs for shade and shelter. Similarly, people first used animal skins to protect themselves from heat and cold, then were able to make better clothing when they discovered how to make use of the wool of animals, the products of silkworms and plants, and how to spin and weave. They also learned how to make armour in order to shield themselves against the attacks of one another.
All these divine gifts and blessings, especially that of the human mind which continuously faces challenges and works out solutions, thus inspiring human development, should guide us to the One who gives and provides, and make us recognize and feel grateful to Him for His creation and care. He is in no need of our thanks, but our direction and devotion to Him will enable us to enjoy genuine freedom within ourselves, towards all others, and attain stability and peace through the varying and successive ups and downs of life.
Compiled From:
"Concepts of the Quran" - Fathi Osman, p. 36

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Women Visiting Graves
For a good understanding of the Sunnah, it is important to reconcile sahih (authentic) hadiths that appear contradictory in that, at first glance, their textual meanings are at variance. It is necessary to combine some of them with others, and place each in its correct place, so that they harmonize and do not differ, so that they complement and do not contradict. We do not do so for weakly supported texts except as a voluntary service or act where there is no requirement or duty to do that.
For example, the hadith of Abu Hurayrah: "God's Messenger condemned women visitors to the graves". Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ibn Majah narrated it, also al-Tirmidhi who called in hasan and sahih, and Ibn Hibban narrated it in his Sahih. Supporting that is what has come in other hadiths prohibiting women following funeral processions, from the import of which is derived the prohibition of women visiting the graves.
In opposition to these hadiths, there are others from which one understands the permissibility for women, as for men, of visiting graves. Among them is his (peace be upon him) saying: "I had forbidden you to visit graves, but [now I say] visit them." [Hakim]"Visit the graves, for indeed they remind of death." [Muslim] Women are included in the general permission to visit graves, and in the need of everyone to be reminded of death. Also among these hadiths is what Muslim narrated (and al-Nasai and Ibn Hanbal) from Aishah. She asked: "How shall I address them? (she meant 'when I visit the graves'). He said: 'Say: Peace be upon the people of the homes of the believers and the Muslims; and God have mercy on the early-comers among us and the late-comers. And indeed we, if God wills, are catching up with you.'" Another example is what the two Shaikhs (Bukhari and Muslim) have narrated from Anas, that "the Prophet passed by a woman weeping at a grave. So he said: 'Fear God and be patient.'..." Now, he forbade her anxiety, but he did not forbid her visiting the grave. Another example is narrated by al-Hakim from Fatimah, the daughter of God's Messenger, that she used to visit the grave of her uncle, Hamzah, every Friday, and she prayed and wept near it.
Moreover, these hadiths demonstrating the permissibility of women visiting graves are more sahih and more common than the hadiths demonstrating the prohibition of it. So combining and reconciling them is possible, in this way: one can interpret the 'condemnation' mentioned in the hadith as warning against wailing, and the like which may apply to both men and women. If reconciling two (or more) hadiths contradictory in outward sense is not possible, then one may resort to preference between them.
Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 113-116

Hadith Forgery
[continued from previous issue]
History and Context
5. Storytellers and preachers
Known among the classes of forgers are also professional storytellers and preachers whose urge for popularity through arousing an emotional response in the audience led them to indulge in forgery. They made up stories and attributed them to the Prophet. Included in these are so-called hadith:
  • The first thing that God created was the light (nur) of the Prophet Muhammad.
  • God revived the Prophet's parents and they embraced Islam before him.
  • Intercession is obligatory for one who is named by the name Muhammad.
  • There is no tree in Paradise without the following being written on every one of its leaves: la ilaha illallah, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Umar al-Faruq wa Uthman Dhul-Nurayn.
6. Juristic and theological differences
Juristic and theological differences constitute another theme of forgery in hadith. The ulama were thus divided into Ahl al-Sunna, Mutazila, Jabriyya, Murjia, etc., and they disagreed over many issues, such as the attributes of God, the definition of faith (iman), whether faith is only a state of mind or that it relates to both belief and conduct, whether faith is liable to increase or decrease, whether the Quran is created or uncreated and so forth. Some of these differences are known to have led to exaggerated statements, even forgery of hadith. This may be illustrated by the following statement attributed to the Prophet that "Whoever raises his hands during the performance of salah, his salah is null and void." In yet another statement, we read: "Whoever says that the Quran is the created speech of God becomes and infidel ... and his wife stands divorced from him as of that moment."
[to be continued ...]
Compiled From:
"A Texbook of Hadith Studies" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 69, 70

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